Questions by Kara Powell. Interview conducted by Cyn Njideka. Answers by Miranda Gonzalez-Brown.
C: Where did the idea for Reggaefest originate, or was it immaculately conceived? I mean that in the most secular way possible, unless you’re into that sort of thing.
M: Originated as a gathering of people listening to Bob Marley, which then turned, into a gathering of Bob Marley cover bands, which then just continued to evolve. There is a lot of reggae music in the inland empire – a lot of artists heard about it and got involved and now we have Reggaefest!
C: What all goes into planning the festival?
THREE MONTHS. All student-run so we have to do everything from contacting artists to filling out all of the paper work, applying for the permit for the city, the merchandizing, advertising, all of it, sound tent, logistics EVERYTHING.
C: Please state the lineup for this year by memory (just kidding, you can use your resources).
M: Lineup? (from memory, in order!)Bodegas, Arise Roots, Dread Daze, True Press, Catchatones, Blaze Mob, Anthony B (headliner), DJ GREGORY G.
C: In 2011, a little electronic duo called Phantogram (“When I’m Small”, “Don’t Move”) came to Kahoutek. They’ve since been chart-topping around the world, on par with M83 and Sleigh Bells. What are some of the more popular artists that have played Reggaefest since its conception, and what fresh talent in the lineup should be on our radar for this year?
M: Traditionally Reggaefest is composed of a lot of local acts and the headliner is usually a big name, a legitimate established artist within the worldly community. The people that come to Reggaefest are usually talents that have been pretty big already. In my time here we’ve never had an up-and-coming headliner. It’s always people that are already established within the community.
C: As a committed connoisseur of music festival paraphernalia, what can I purchase at Reggaefest? And more specifically, what will the shirts look like and who designed them?/What will be new at Reggaefest this year? Any surprises, or plot twists?
M: T-shirts are always student-designed, CLIO SHERMAN and JACOB RICHIE designed the front and back of the shirt. As far of vendors. there are tons of different vendors. From local tacos, jewelry, flags, lots of student vendors doing fundraisers for the organization. Clubs, lots of banners, flags, etc.
C: So let’s say in an alternate universe where ears don’t exist that I hate reggae. Why should I still come out to Reggaefest?
M: It’s a great opportunity to invite our surrounding community onto our campus, we talk about being socially responsibly and part of that is connecting to our community to experience what we offer as a college, and it’s family oriented, fun and totally free.
C: How does Reggaefest stay true to its roots and the cultural origins of Reggae, and how has it evolved through the years?
M: Reggaefest started as just a small group of people that had a passion for the music and from that evolving we have the opp to give life to this festival and the opp that for 12 years has been connecting students across the campuses and people from the community which is what reggae is all about PEACE LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE – which can be stereotyped, but that is the heart of the reggae movement.
C: What are some common misconceptions regarding Reggaefest, and what do you have to say to the haters?
M: H8rs gonna h8.
C: When can I go?
M: Right now on the Mounds.
Big thanks to the Reggaefest committee and everyone who helped put it together;The Office of Student Affairs (Drew Herbert), and Pitzer college as a whole for being supportive of this tradition and all the other clubs organizations and schools that helped fund this endeavor and make it a possibility.